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This week in Shelter Island history: Expanding deer hunting program, ice floes in bay


The soap opera “All My Children” debuted on ABC television.

“Mame” closed at the Wintergarden Theatre in New York City after 1,508 performances.

“Hair” had its Amsterdam premier.

Music lovers were listening to “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” by B.J. Thomas.

Number 5 ranked Southern California beat number 7 Michigan in the 56th Annual Rose Bowl.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Need more land for deer hunt

Town officials sought more property owners who would allow deer  hunting on their land. Supervisor Evans K. Griffing said, despite the acreage in the town including at Mashomack Preserve where hunting was allowed, there was need for additional hunting sites. The town’s goal at the time was to cull 400 deer a year.

POSTSCRIPT: Fifty years later, the town is still seeking additional land for hunting. Animal Control Officer Beau Payne doesn’t set a specific number of deer he would like culled from the herd, but the Deer & Tick Committee says it aims to reduce the herd by half within the next couple of years and then to reassess where things stand. But no one can venture a guess about how many deer are on the Island.

Anecdotal evidence — vehicle crashes, photos taken at sites where 4-posters are deployed and damage to plants — offer hints that the efforts underway are succeeding in reducing the herd. Many communities cite 8 to 10 deer per square mile as optimum. The Deer & Tick Committee isn’t certain it will have to achieve that level to make management of the herd reasonable.


Ice floes interrupt ferry service

Freezing temperatures resulted in severe ice flows covering a 10-mile field that extended from Riverhead to 100 feet west of South Ferry lanes.

While the boats continued to run through most of the freeze, there was a day in early January when South Ferry II, skippered by Jason Green, had to push the Captain Ed Cartwright through thick ice to bring it home. Ferry service had to be stopped for a period of time, the first stopage of service in 20 years.

POSTSCRIPT: So far, despite some freezing weather, there has been no stoppage in the late fall and early winter. Instead, both South and North Ferry services are taking steps to deal with higher tides that on some stormy days can make pulling into ports difficult. North Ferry officials see global warming as the culprit while Mr. Clark has said he’s not sure if it’s just a cyclical occurrence.


First Reporter published under new leadership

Troy and Joan Gustavson of Times Review Newspapers issued their first Reporter on Jan. 6, after purchasing the paper from Gardiner Cowles III in November 1999. They were scheduled for a second closing in February 2000 on the Grand Avenue  building in which the Reporter operated back then.

POSTSCRIPT: The paper is still owned by Times Review, now in the hands of the Gustavson’s daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Andrew Olsen, and has had a number of changes in editors and staff members through the past 20 years. It continues to cover Shelter Island under the leadership of editor Ambrose Clancy.